Saturday May 23, 2020
LAHORE: The Punjab government has announced that theatres and restaurants will reopen in the province after Eid-ul-Fitr, reported The News on Saturday.
They have been shuttered for nearly two months now due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The decision to reopen theatres and restaurants across the province was issued by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, who has sought standard operating procedures (SOPs) from the Information and Culture Department in this regard.
Sources told The News that the decision was taken in the wake of the worsening financial crisis.
Pakistan has so far reported more than 1,000 fatalities from the virus and more than 52,000 cases. Punjab is the second most affected province (after Sindh), accounting for 18,000 cases and more than 300 deaths.
Speaking to parliamentarians in his office, the chief minister appealed to the citizens to protect themselves as well as their loved ones from coronavirus.
He added that SOPs and guidelines should be ensured, along with the use of face masks and social distancing during Eid shopping. The chief minister further said that the coronavirus epidemic had not subsided yet; therefore, necessary precautions and safety measures are imperative to avoid worsening it.
The chief minister further said that devotees should fully follow social distancing policy as shrines of the saints are reopened to visitors.
“We will rise to the challenge of the coronavirus with collective wisdom,” he emphasized, adding that the decision to restore business activities had been made to save the public from hunger.
“The government wants to restore the routine way of life along with observance of steps needed for safety from coronavirus,” he said.
“The decision has been made to restore construction activities to provide employment opportunities and development schemes which can create job opportunities are being introduced.”
The chief minister said that the resumption of the transport and industrial sectors was allowed so that workers could earn their livelihood.
“The government wants to make sure labourers are economically stable in these difficult economic conditions,” he said.
Originally published in The News